Winner of the New Brunswick Book Awards’ Fiddlehead Poetry Prize
Rife with colloquialisms, irony and a healthy dose of sass, the poems
collected in Bec and Call refuse to be silent or subtle; instead they delve
into the explicit, the audacious, the boldly personal. Bec and Call subverts
the notion of female sexuality as male appeasement, the French wordplay
in the title using the meaning of “bec”—a kiss, mouthpiece or beak—to
complicate notions of compliance and submission. The roles of acadienne
and feminist come with the responsibility of speaking up, and Bec and Call
is a means of vocalizing the societal dérangement of Acadian culture
amidst the difficulties women encounter as a result of rape culture and anti-feminism.
Praise for Bec & Call:
Bec & Call reels with a kind of Acadian steampunk rhythm – unable to use its inside voice, it’s a “rite of passage that’s right risky.” Jenna Lyn Albert’s verse roils right “over basic, back-home vocabulary,” goes “full-Joplin” into heartbreak, broken condoms, drinks spiked with rape drugs, and fairground rides gone horribly wrong, then brings us back to the messy, grounded love of family—Mémère caught drunk on vhs, Pépère shucking oysters, sisters watching a pregnancy pee stick test change colours. The raw, untidy and vulnerable moments of life are “bodied, full bodied, embodied” in these poems—“slurp ’em back and swill ’em straight down the gullet.” This debut collection is intoxicating.
– Laisha Rosnau
Bec & Call’s elliptical contemplations are both almanac and road map for contemporary New Brunswick. Albert is eyes open in her search for raw experience, buried light.
– Tammy Armstrong
I love these poems.
– Zoe Whittall